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Greater Cleveland Food Bank

Hunger in America 2014

About/Hunger in America 2014

Every four years, Feeding America - the nationwide network of 200 food banks - conducts its Hunger in America study that focuses on the causes and effects of hunger on a local level. It is the largest study of its kind.

Nationally, Hunger in America 2014 found that more than 46 million people turn to agencies and programs of the Feeding America network of food banks every year. Here in Northeast Ohio, more than 574,000 people turn to hunger programs annually.

The study documents client household demographics and the challenges that our clients face. It is the first study that assesses the prevalence of food insecurity among past and active members of the U.S. Military. One in five families we serve contains a veteran or someone currently serving in the military.

“The results of this study show us that the face of hunger is one we might recognize,” said Shirley Stineman, Board Chair of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. “Many of our neighbors who are seeking food assistance have jobs, raise families, work toward education and struggle with health problems, like all of us."

She added, "Too often, our clients have to make difficult trade-offs to get enough food for their families. As we look ahead to Hunger Action Month this September, it is important to remember the critical work our food banks do every day, and how much more we can do together to solve hunger in Northeast Ohio.”

SNAP cuts and rising food costs have also forced households to make difficult choices, according to the study's data. The effect of gasoline prices that have risen 32 percent in four years is also evident. Two-thirds of client households had to choose between paying for food and paying for transportation costs.

Although the nation has recovered the number of jobs lost in the recession, Ohio is still more than 129,000 jobs behind. Moreover, most jobs lost during the recession were high wage or middle wage jobs, but most jobs added back have been low wage jobs.